I don’t often hear about pseudo science in my home state but today there’s a whopper. It is highlighted in this article from BostonNOW Avoiding vaccinations – Parents might be lying to avoid kids getting shots. The article is great and this quote from Pediatrician Dr. John Cohen is spot on with my opinion on the matter.
“You are withholding from them something easily available, well-studied and used for years that is going to prevent their getting an illness, It’s essentially abuse.”
Please, please, please, follow your M.D.’s advice and get your child vaccinated. We do not want to go back to the days before vaccinations when a high percentage of children died every year from diseases we have practically eliminated by vaccinating all children. Keep in mind this isn’t just about protecting individual children. Sometimes a vaccine will not protect an individual but by vaccinating over 90% of a population the diseases can’t easily spread to the ones for whom the vaccine isn’t directly effective. So by not vaccinating your child you are potentially putting other peoples children at risk as well as your own children.
In the comments to the BostonNow article, a man who wants to have you stop using evidence based medicine says.
“Skip your Vaccination! Lie if you have to! …”
“I believe one of the main reasons for the poor health of Bostonians is the immunizations they receive as a child. This major, first, near mandatory, naive step, creates a dependency on the medical establishment for future treatment of chronic diseases which makes them worse, not better. …”
99 Crescent Street
Newton, MA 02466
Feel free to contact Mr. Snieckus by telephone, e-mail or letter, to tell him what you think about him, after all he publicly posted his contact information so, he must want to hear from everyone. He thinks the entire medical community is a giant conspiracy to make everyone sick and dependent on the medical community. He thinks we should stop spending money on evidence based medicine and instead give the money to guys like him.
Googling “David Snieckus” I found a letter to the editor of the The Newton TAB by Nigel Foster from a couple years ago.
Letter: Macrobiotics is voodoo by another name
from Nigel Foster Posted Wednesday, January 19, 2005 at The Newton TAB
I was saddened to learn that Newton policy director Jeremy Solomon and Mayor David Cohen might even consider promoting a macrobiotic diet as a way to reduce the city’s health care costs. Perhaps they are unaware that macrobiotic teachings are completely inappropriate as a guide for health policy? To put it bluntly: macrobiotics is an intellectually bankrupt combination of diet plan and cult religion that makes many false medical claims. It is voodoo by another name.
A quick glance through the macrobiotic literature should be enough to dispel any doubts. For example, in his book “Natural Healing through Macrobiotics”, author Michio Kushi claims that people can change their blood type by changing their diet (see page 109). He also claims that “Hemophilia is caused not by heredity but by improper diet.”, while admitting that medical science sees it the other way around (page 108). Other outrageous examples are easy to find in this delusional 200-page work.
Since Michio Kushi founded the Institute where David Snieckus learned about macrobiotics, I suggest that Mr. Solomon and Mayor Cohen exercise great caution when considering Mr. Snieckus’ claims. If Newton wants to lower its health costs it should promote a plan of diet and exercise that has been approved by accredited health professionals, and not by self-styled consultants with a vested financial interest.
Bravo Mr. Foster, thank you for taking a stand for reality based medicine, you know the kind that uses scientifically valid evidence instead of anecdotes about placebo effects.
I suggest that if you want to live a long life you should eat right, exercise more, get routine physical examines and, stay away from the likes of David Snieckus.
Thanks to Orac for pointing me to this story via a Mike the Mad Biologist post.